Community Services Block Grant-Discretionary Awards
ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Community Opportunities, Accountability, Training, and Educational Services Act of 1998, Title II, Section 680, Public Law 105-285.
To support program activities to alleviate the causes of poverty in distressed communities which: (1) assist businesses in creating jobs for low-income individuals, i.e., develop employment and business development opportunities for low-income individuals; (2) a better standard of living for rural low-income individuals in terms of water and waste water treatment.
Types of Assistance
Uses and Use Restrictions
Federal funds awarded under the Secretary's Discretionary Authority may be used for activities that: improve the quality of the economic and social environment of low-income residents by providing resources to eligible applicants, by arresting tendencies toward dependency, chronic unemployment and community deterioration in urban and rural areas; and by addressing needs of water and wastewater treatment in Rural Communities. Community Economic Development grants are awarded to cover project costs for (1) startup or expansion of business, physical improvements, or commercial activities. (2) Capital expenditures such as the purchase of equipment or real property; (3) allowable operating expenses; and (4) loans or equity investments. Expenditures must result in the creation of employment or business opportunities for low-income individuals. Generally, the project must be completed within 36 months for non-construction projects and 60 months for contruction projects. Projects must document public/private partnership mobilizing cash and/or in-kind contributions; and be located in areas characterized by poverty and other indicators of socioeconomic distress, such as high levels of unemployment, or high levels of violence, gang activity, crime, drug use and/or low-income individuals or designation as an Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community (EZ/EC). Rural Community Facilities grants are awarded to provide training and technical assistance to small, rural communities concerning their water and waste water treatment needs. RF grants focus on the development and upgrading of small water and wastewater systems in low-income rural areas. Types of services provided included training of persons responsible for community water and wastewater facilities; assisting communities with problem-solving and planning for facilities; producing and disseminating publications, newsletters, videos, and training manuals about rural waste and wastewater systems; and assisting rural communities in leveraging Federal, State, local, and private sector financing for facilities.
For Community Economic Development projects, eligibility is restricted to private, locally initiated, nonprofit community development corporations (or affiliates of such corporations) governed by a board consisting of residents of the community and business and civic leaders. For Rural Community Development Activity projects, which is refered to as Rural Community Facilities projects, eligibly is restricted to multi-state, regional private, non-profit organizations that can provide training and technical assistance to small, rural communities interested in safe water and waste water treatment needs.
A project must be targeted to address the needs of a specific segment of low-income individuals or families. The official poverty line established by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services is used as a criterion of eligibility in the Community Economic Development Discretionary Grant program.
Costs will be determined in accordance with the provisions of Title 45 CFR 74.
Application and Award Process
This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in the State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. The standard application forms as furnished by DHHS and required by Title 45 CFR Part 74 must be used. An environmental impact statement may be required for certain projects under this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in the State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. The standard application forms as furnished by DHHS and required by Title 45 CFR, Part 74 must be used. An environmental impact statement may be required for certain projects under this program.
Awards are granted on a competitive basis. Announcements concerning the availability of funds, requests for applications, along with application form and assurance documents, are at http://www.grants.gov Applications to the Office of Community Services for grants under the announcement should be addressed to: OCS Operations Center 1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 100, Arlington, Virginia 22209. Applicants are urged to inform and coordinate application submissions with State and local governments where such information and coordination is appropriate or necessary for the success of the program. This program is subject to the provisions of Title 45 CFR Part 74 (non-governmental entities). All applications for assistance under this program must contain: (1) SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance; (2) SF-424A, Budget Information; (3) SF-424B, Assurances-Non- Construction Programs; (4) Certificate Regarding Drug Free Workplace Requirements; (5) Certification regarding environmental tobacco smoke; (6) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters; and (7) Certification Regarding Lobbying. These must be accompanied by a detailed budget, and a program narrative submitted in accordance with the format detailed in the program announcement.
The Director, Office of Community Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), will make the final decision on all grant awards. Selection of applicants will be determined based on the review criteria outlined in the program announcement.
All information and application forms required to prepare a grant are at http://www.grants.gov
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Generally, solicited grants will be acted upon within 90 to 120 days.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Generally, Community Economic Development financial assistance awards are made available for periods of 36 to 60 months; Rural Community Facilities financial assistance awards are awarded for 12-month budget periods with a five year project period.
Post Assistance Requirements
Semi-annual progress reports, semi-annual financial reports and a final report summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the project in relation to the approved goals and objectives are required by OCS.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised June 27, 2003)," Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations, Nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions of this part. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in section .215(a), but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and General Accounting Office (GAO).
Grant recipients are required to keep all financial, business and program reports necessary for program review and audit to insure that funds have been expended in accordance with the regulations, grant terms and conditions of this program. Audits and supporting records must be kept on file for at least 3 years.
Discretionary Awards - Community Economic Development: FY 07 $27,022,000; FY 08 $31,467,000; and FY 09 est not available. Rural Community Facilities: FY 07 $7,293,000; FY 08 $7,860,000; and FY 09 est not available.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Up to $700,000 for Community Economic Development and $1,099,500 for Rural Community Facilities.
In FY 07, 45 grants were awarded and it is estimated that 52 grants will be awarded in FY 08 for the Community Economic Development program. For the Rural Community Facilities program, 9 grants were awarded in FY 07 and it is anticipated the same number of grants will be awarded in FY 08.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Program announcements are posted on the web.
Regional or Local Office
OCS Liaisons, stationed in - ACF.
Rafael J. Elizalde, Team Leader, Telephone: (202) 401-5115, firstname.lastname@example.org, Division of Community Discretionary Programs, Office of Community Services, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington, DC 20447.
Web Site Address
93.593, Job Opportunities For Low-INCOME Individuals
Examples of Funded Projects
SEE OCS web-site.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Specific criteria for selecting proposals for funding are stated in each program announcement.